When the James Madison Dukes scheduled their cross-country trip to open up their 2012-2013 men’s basketball season against the No. 13 UCLA Bruins tonight, they were expecting to attempt to challenge an up-and-coming team that features the number one recruiting class of the Class of 2012.
But now, when head coach Matt Brady and his boys hit the court tonight against the Bruins, they’ll be playing a team that may be without their top-two recruits, Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. Of course, Muhammad is battling an eligibility-bout with the NCAA and has decided to appeal the ruling, but Anderson was ruled a game-decision for tonight’s contest.
An MRI exam on Wednesday showed that Anderson, a 6-9 guard from Fairview, NJ, has a bone contusion in his right wrist. The lengthy wing player injured his wrist only a hustle play. While chasing the ball out of bounds, he tripped over a video cameraman on Tuesday night in UCLA’s victory over UC Irvine.
While he hasn’t been a superstar, Anderson has contributed plenty to his team, scoring 10 points and grabbing 8.5 rebounds a night during their first two games.
While the Dukes still have a statement to make tonight, their road to defeating a top-25 ball club just got a lot easier, especially because UCLA junior guard Tyler Lamb will also be a game-time decision tonight.
It will be interesting to see whether the Duke’s long layover from exhibition play or the Bruin’s frustration from losing active players will have a greater effect on this anticipated matchup.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.